Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Hitting the nail with your head

I got an unexpected bit of wisdom today.

I was talking about how it would be nice if seeing my family brought up good emotions instead of the roiling doubts about religion, politics, and personal intimacy that always seem to arise like so much detritis after an ocean wreck.

Like many people, I work really hard to understand my family, my role in it, and how I can set the boundaries that will allow me to appreciate what I have and protect myself from my own idealistic expectations. In my family, the relentless pursuit of self-improvement is a moral and human responsibility, but it often feels like beating your head against the wall when you continue to search for solutions in the absence of evidence that it will make any difference. There's no end to it; it's a life-long process.

Just when I was ready to exhaust myself looking at the future and seeing nothing but head banging ahead of me, someone said quite simply, "There is no end, but there is progress. Eventually, you stop hitting your head quite so hard."

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is a goal I can work toward.

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